Tag Archives: Smartphones

Huawei announces U8230 and C8000 smartphones

Fresh from CommuniAsia 2009, Huawei has announced two handsets destined to get lost amongst the continued onslaught of full touchscreen kit. No, they’re by no means poor devices of course — they just offer very little in the way of excitement or differentiating factors. Starting with the U8230, pictured top left and notable thanks only to its Android OS, specs include a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel camera and a sizable 1500 mAh battery. The Windows Mobile-powered C8000, pictured above to the right, features a 2.8-inch touchscreen, some kind of 3D UI band-aid, an independent display adapter for smooth media playback and a claimed six to eight hours of continuous video playback on a single charge. Pricing has not yet been revealed but both handsets should hit Asia and Europe some time in the second half.

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Symbian Foundation woos partners with King Kong of smartphones

Holy. Crap. So, umm, have you been wondering what the Symbian foundation has been up to since revealing the mother of all development schedules? A whole lot, is what it’s been up to. Long story short, the team has cooperated with ST-Ericsson and ARM to build the first working example of multi-core goodness running on production chips with an open OS. Short story long…

Here’s what they slapped together:

  • Single chip base band and application processor engine
  • HSPA Modem Release7
  • ARM® Cortex-A9 MPCore

And here’s what it’s capable of:

  • HD 1080p camcorder and video
  • Up to 18 Million pixels camera
  • ~100 hours audio playback time
  • 10 hours HD video playback time
  • Simultaneously TV out over HDMI
  • Video and Imaging accelerator
  • HW accelerated 3D Graphics supporting OpenGL ES2.0
  • 2xWVGA (960×854) displays
  • Touch UI on 2 displays

Hot damn. We’ll take five. Of course this is just a proof of concept and please, don’t expect first generation Symbian^2 devices to be cooking with all that gas. But it’s all there — today. Right now all this adds up to a synopsis alongside a promo video intending to show potential partners what Symbian is capable of, but for us it means exciting times ahead, people. Exciting times.

[Via IntoMobile]

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AdMob issues April smartphone web usage report; iPhone dominates HTML, Symbian needs a new browser

AdMob, a leading mobile ad service provider, issues mobile metrics and analysis each month and today it has released April data. Key points from AdMob’s press release:

  • While Gartner estimated global smartphone sales represented 12 percent of total device sales in 2008, 35 percent of AdMob’s worldwide ad requests in April 2009 came from smartphones. This means that smartphones accounted for nearly 3 times more usage than their relative market share.
  • The iPhone OS had 8 percent of the smartphone market, but generated 43 percent of mobile Web requests and 65 percent of HTML usage.
  • The Android OS share of the smartphone market was less than 1 percent, but generated 3 percent of mobile Web requests and 9 percent of HTML usage.
  • The Symbian OS had 52 percent of the smartphone market, but generated only 36 percent of mobile Web usage and 7 percent of HTML usage.
  • Usage of mobile Web sites greatly out paces usage of HTML sites on smartphones running the Symbian and RIM Operating System (OS).
  • 24 percent of US requests were made over a Wi-Fi network. The top five Wi-Fi devices in terms of usage were the iPhone, iPod touch, Sony PSP, HTC Dream (G1), and HTC Dash.

There are definitely some interesting takeaways here — the most interesting to us is actually the Symbian stat. Symbian has 52 percent of the market but generated only 7 percent of HTML usage. 7 percent! Conversely, the iPhone holds about 8 percent of the smartphone market but accounts for 65 percent of mobile HTML usage. Even Android, which accounts for 1 percent of smartphones worldwide, topped Symbian with 9 percent of HTML traffic.

The Webkit-based S60 browser is certainly capable of displaying HTML but as we’ve commented on numerous occasions, it’s clunky and slow. We really (REALLY) hope this will be a particular area of focus as the Symbian Foundation continues work on Symbian^2 because S60 5th Edition hardly addresses the issue. Oh and RIM, your browser is even worse… But you know this.

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Changes afoot at T-Mobile; smartphones to require data plans, family messaging rate hike

There has been quite a bit of movement recently as far as T-Mobile’s plans are concerned and if you haven’t been keeping your eye on the ball, you probably missed something. For the most part, T-Mo has added plans and options that are pretty favorable for subscribers but word just came in from one of our ninjas regarding a few more upcoming changes some might not be happy about. The first concerns smartphone users: We know that all you BGR fans out there obviously have data plans but there are plenty of people who enjoy the enhanced functionality of a smartphone who haven’t yet embraced mobile data services. Unfortunately, those people are in for a bit of a disappointment — some time in June T-Mobile will begin requiring that all smartphones (new activations / upgrades) have a data plan. This new requirement will not apply to the BlackBerry Pearl, BlackBerry Pearl Flip, Samsung Behold or Samsung Memoir. Next up, messaging addicts: Also beginning some time in June, T-Mobile’s Unlimited Domestic Messages for Families will jump from $19.95 per month to $24.99 per month. It’s still a pretty sweet deal of course, just not quite as sweet as it used to be.

Acer announces eight smartphones for the Singapore market

Acer jumped feet first into the mobile phone arena by debuting a handful of new Windows Mobile handsets at MWC 2009. At a launch event today, Acer and C2O Corporation officially launched eight of these handsets in the Singapore market. Available now are the dual-SIM DX900 ($530 USD), the dual-faced DX650 ($397 USD) and the compact X960 ($463 USD). Expected in May but not yet priced are the F900 and the M900, and then coming later in 2009 are the F1, L1 and C1. Hit the jump for specs on the five handsets launching initially.

DX900

  • 2.8“ WVGA touch screen
  • Samsung SC3 6400 533 MHz Processor
  • 256 MB Flash ROM, 128 MB SDRAM
  • Dual-SIM with SIM 1 supporting HSDPA / UMTS 2100/1900/850 MHz and quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, and SIM 2 supporting GSM tri-band 900/1800/1900
  • 1.3 megapixel autofocus camera, VGA front camera
  • Wi-Fi, BT 2.0+EDR, GPS
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pocket PC Phone edition with Spb Mobile Shell v2.1

DX650

  • Dual-Face design with touchscreen on one side and keypad on the other
  • 2.8“ QVGA touch screen
  • Samsung SC3 6410 533 MHz Processor
  • 256 MB Flash ROM, 128 MB SDRAM
  • 2 megapixel fixed focus camera
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, BT 2.0+EDR
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 with Spb Mobile Shell v2.1
  • Standby time 150h / Talk time: 4h

X960

  • Samsung SC3 6410 533 MHz Processor
  • 256 MB Flash ROM, 128 MB SDRAM
  • High speed HSPA connectivity
  • 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera, 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi, BT 2.0+EDR, GPS
  • Windows Mobile 6.1, Outlook, Office, widget-based Acer Shell v2.0 UI

F900

  • Samsung SC3 6410 533 MHz Processor
  • 256 MB Flash ROM, 128 MB SDRAM
  • 3.8″ WVGA touch screen
  • GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • HSDPA/HSUPA: 2100/1900/850 Mhz
  • 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • Wi-Fi, BT 2.0+EDR, GPS
  • Windows Mobile 6.1, Outlook, Office, widget-based Acer Shell v2.0 UI

M900

  • Physical QWERTY keyboard
  • 3.8“ WVGA touch screen
  • GSM/EDGE: Quad-band GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • HSDPA/HSUPA: 2100/1900/850 Mhz
  • Fingerprint reader
  • 5 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • Wi-Fi, BT 2.0+EDR, GPS
  • Windows Mobile 6.1, Outlook, Office, widget-based Acer Shell v2.0 UI

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Samsungs says smartphones will make up 29 percent of the market in 2012

Lining up with the predictions of pretty much every Tom, Dick and Harry, Samsung has gone ahead and stated that it expects smartphones to make up 29 percent (or 500 million devices) of the mobile phone marketplace in 2012. As things currently stand, smartphones account for 14 percent (170 million devices) of all mobile phones, a figure which is steadily increasing (despite a World-wide recession) thanks in part to high consumer and corporate demand for feature-rich devices. What’s more however, is that Samsung is betting touchcreens will be featured on 50 percent of mobile phones by 2013. Sammy also says OLED displays will become all the rage with an estimated 50 percent market share in the next five years on all mobile devices, including but not limited to mobile phones, PMPs, GPS navigation units and digital cameras. Guess that means that while many will be looking forward to the future with outstretched arms and wide-open wallets, Stevie Wonder will be pretty PO’d unless some solid progress is made where the V.I. UX is concerned.

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Rogers changes minimum HUP length from 12 to 24 months for smartphone users

It looks like Canada’s Rogers Wireless wasn’t content with merely jacking up its BlackBerry prices as it has just gone and made and a decision that is sure to aggravate plenty of smartphone customers. Normally, a Rogers customer is eligible for a Hardware Upgrade Program (HUP) discount every 12 months, allowing them to get a brand new phone with three-year contract pricing (with as much as an extra $100 plus a $35 administration fee added on top or as little as $25 taken off depending on how much a customer spent since his/her last HUP). Now however, the minimum term has been bumped up to 24 months. Some would argue this is what you get when you’re playing with branded and subsidized phones, but to others this is a pretty massive slap in the face. From the looks of these Rogers scoops we’ve been getting over the past few days, it seems like we have a whole bunch of ‘adjustments’ to look forward to thanks to that little $30 million blunder. Hit the jump for the full internal bulletin posted to Sales Central along with a screen shot. Not cool, Rogers.

**IMPORTANT UPDATE** Change to Hardware Upgrade Eligibility

The Hardware Upgrade Program (HUP) allows eligible customers to upgrade to leading edge data devices. Beginning March 17, the minimum eligibility tenure rule is changing from 12 months to 24 months for customers who wish to upgrade their smartphone and are currently on a data plan or Voice & Data Package.

This follows the March 13 price increase for BlackBerry® devices and reinforces the importance of explaining to customers that HUP eligibility and quoted hardware/plan pricing are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed beyond the time of quotation.

Update to HUP eligibility:

The updated HUP eligibility rule of 24 months minimum tenure since customer’s last upgrade or activation date will be system enforced and no exceptions will be allowed.

12 months eligibility tenure rule remains unchanged for voice-only customers upgrading to a data device.

12 months eligibility tenure rule remains unchanged for customers upgrading from a non-smartphone to a smartphone or data device.

All other standard HUP eligibility rules still apply.

Reasons for the update to the HUP program:

Rogers Wireless heavily invests in providing the latest data devices at affordable prices to our data customers. This update to the Hardware Upgrade Program is designed to achieve cost efficiency in order to continue offering our customers an outstanding selection of the most advanced data devices for the best value.

Along with the growth in popularity of data devices there has also been an improved level of quality and technology that has gone into the line-up over the past years allowing a longer hardware lifespan.

Customer impacts:

Please always check the customer’s account in Vision21 for HUP eligibility to ensure the customer is provided with correct eligibility information.

Customers may have been eligible and now eligibility has been pushed out as a result of the update.

Customers may have been aware of their eligibility prior to the update, but did not take advantage of the program at the time and are currently not eligible as a result of the update.

Positioning:

Rogers Wireless sells devices at a significantly lower price than that which we pay the manufacturer. This update to our Hardware Upgrade Program is necessary in order to allow us to continue offering the best devices at the best value in a fair timeframe for our customers.
The Hardware Upgrade Program eligibility and hardware prices are subject to change without notice.

Please note that the information in this bulletin applies to the standard HUP program, and does not take into consideration any existing promotions that may require different eligibility. Always remember to consult the Sales Central bulletins to read the latest in HUP offers.

Thank you for your continued support.

Acer to offer free smartphones in the US

If you followed our coverage of MWC this past week, odds are you were just as unimpressed with Acer’s showing as we were. To recap quickly, the company announced a handful of Windows Mobile handsets that were decent efforts but offered nothing in the way of innovation or even differentiation. Touchscreens, Windows Mobile, a UI band-aid, etc. According to a report from PCMag however, our interest in Acer’s new gear may have just been kicked up a notch. What did the trick? A single word — “free”. The report quotes Aymar de Lencquesaing, President of Acer’s Smartphone Unit, as stating the company is working with AT&T and T-Mobile to offer its handsets for free on contract in the US.

While it remains true that none of Acer’s newly-unveiled handsets are smartphones we would actively seek out, the free element completely changes things. As US carrier interest in netbooks continues to increase, Acer plans to use its position in the netbook market as leverage to gain carrier adoption of its smartphones. Smooth. If Acer can indeed manage to pull it off and hock its smartphone wares in the US with no upfront cost, a whole new demographic would have access to fairly well-equipped smartphones – good news all around. Of course we would expect Acer’s Windows Mobile 6.1-powered Tempo line to be the only range of handsets that might come in for free any time soon, with choices from its C1, E1, F1 and L1 possibly being introduced further down the line as Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets begin to launch. Would any of you get reeled in by a Tempo with a $0 entry fee?

[Via Unwired View]

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Acer announces Tempo line of smartphones: X960, F900, M900 and DX900

Have you found yourself itching lately for a brand new Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone with a familiar form factor and specs that are a good 18 – 24 months old? No? That’s odd, because Acer seems to think handsets in the aforementioned vein will be just what the doctor ordered as it battles to become relevant in the smartphone game. Sure the new Tempo line announced today by Acer looks to be a quartet of sleek and sexy handsets, but in this day and age we’re looking for much, much more bang for our buck. Hit the jump for specs on the newly unveiled X960, F900, M900 and DX900, pictured above starting clockwise from the top left corner, and let us know if Acer won your hard-earned cash with its MWC announcement.

X960
• Pre-installed GPS software
(Navigon try-and-buy, for Europe market)
• 2.8″ VGA touch screen
• High speed HSPA connectivity
• New easy-to-use virtual keyboard
• Access directly to key applications
via widget-based home screen
•3.2MP Auto-focused camera

F900
• Pre-installed GPS software
(Navigon try-and-buy, for Europe market)
• 2.8″ VGA touch screen
• High speed HSPA connectivity
• New easy-to-use virtual keyboard
• Access directly to key applications
via widget-based home screen
•3.2MP Auto-focused camera

M900
• Physical Qwerty keyboard
• 3.8“ WVGA touch screen
• Fingerprint reader
• 5 Megapixel autofocus camera
• HSPA, WiFi, BT
• Windows Mobile 6.1, Outlook, Office

DX900
• Physical Qwerty keyboard
• 3.8“ WVGA touch screen
• Fingerprint reader
• 5 MP autofocus camera
• HSPA, WiFi, BT
• Windows Mobile 6.1, Outlook, Office
• Standby time 160h / Talk time: 5h

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